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Can you die from a colonoscopy? Kirill Bichutsky death rumours explored

Bruno Cooke March 28, 2022
can you die from a colonoscopy
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Bert Marcus Productions

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Russian-born American photographer and entrepreneur Kirill Bichutsky, aka Kirill Was Here, posted to his Instagram followers yesterday before undergoing what chef friend Cody Candelario has identified as a colonoscopy. Now, rumours are circulating about Bichutsky’s death, begging the question: Can you die from a colonoscopy?

Kirill Bichutsky fans wonder whether you can die from a colonoscopy after IG post sparks rumours

Technically yes. There are complications that can arise following a colonoscopy, and there have been reports of deaths as a result of the procedure.

However, they are rare.

Healthline writes the colonoscopy itself is “relatively safe”, while there are “several factors” that could contribute to problems.

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Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

For example, if the doctor performing the procedure removes a polyp – small tissue growths that are usually non-cancerous but can become malignant – chances of issues may increase.

In 2013, the Centre for Health Journalism reported on the death of a 54-year-old. He died in February 2010 – his death certificate attributed his death to “acute peritonitis due to perforation of the cecum during a colonoscopy”.

What is the colonoscopy death rate, and who is most at risk?

Published in the Annals Of Internal Medicine academic journal, research from 2006 found perforations of the colon occurred in 0.9 per 1,000 colonoscopies. 

That’s a rate of less than 0.1%. In colonoscopies with biopsies – that’s when the doctor removes a polyp or other bit of tissue from the colon – risks were higher. Serious complications occurred in seven per 1,000 colonoscopies with biopsy or polypectomy. Or, at a rate of 0.7%.

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Meanwhile, Canada’s first-ever large-scale study of colonoscopy complications, by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), identified four risk factors.

Older age, being male, having a polypectomy, and “having the procedure done by a low-volume endoscopist” were more likely to lead to colonoscopy-related bleeding. A “low-volume endoscopist” is someone who’s trained to perform colonoscopies but who doesn’t do them very often.

What happened to Kirill Bichutsky?

NYC-based entrepreneur Kirill Bichutsky posted on Instagram yesterday. He wrote “see you on the other side”, with a picture of him in a hospital bed, apparently preparing for a colonoscopy.

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Since then, numerous people have posted “RIP” messages, including former Hell’s Kitchen contestant (and createdbycody content creator) Cody Candelario. 

Cody apparently received “calls” over Kirill Bichutsky’s death. Others cite the disabling of Bichutsky’s girlfriend Estée Maria’s Instagram account in their circulation of the claim.

Kirill Bichutsky’s business partner, Linda Finegold, posted a picture of the star on her now-private Instagram account, with text writing “RIP”. Linda had uploaded a picture of Kirill, but has since moved her account to private. Friend Chloe Metcalfe also posted to her Instagram Story with the words: “Today can’t be real.”

Later, the sad news seemed to be confirmed by Finegold via a handwritten note shared on the A**holes Live Forever merchandise site.

The note contains a number of swear words so here’s a link – but please be warned about the language used.

Linda Finegold liquidates A**holes Live Forever stock in wake of Bichutsky news

Before making her IG account private, Finegold also shared an Instagram story where she confirmed Kirill’s passing. She explained: “We have all suffered an unconscionable loss and I don’t think anyone has even had a chance to process it.”

In the meantime, Finegold and Bichutsky’s merch website seems to be liquidating its stock, with fans lining up to buy some of the last few items. Finegold explained this was because she “didn’t see (herself) doing this without (her) partner in crime”.

“It would make me sick to my stomach and it was fun while it lasted, but I can’t do this alone,” she continued.

Kirill’s original Instagram post received more than 16.5K likes and 2,000 comments before his account went private. IMDb lists three filmography credits, including 2018 documentary The American Meme.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.